Man accused of stealing guns from Travis County deputy’s vehicle

MUG Munoz

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin man who was arrested after stealing a shotgun and rifle from a Travis County deputy’s vehicle Friday could face more charges for having a possibly stolen DPS badge.

According to an arrest affidavit, 20-year-old Christopher Munoz burglarized a clearly-marked deputy vehicle early Thursday morning sometime between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m.

Documents show deputies were able to use surveillance video to identify the car Munoz used during the burglary. The sheriff’s office then traced it back to Munoz parents’ house, located less than half a mile away from the where the theft occurred, and where Munoz had been temporarily residing for several weeks.

Deputies searched the house and located the two firearms in a closet. Also located during the search was a DPS trooper badge and two empty firearm holsters.

He could face more charges for having the badge, which Cpt. Craig Smith said they believe was stolen, but deputies will be working with DPS to figure out how Munoz got it. 

To get the guns, Cpt. Smith said the passenger side window was broken and deputies think a set of bolt cutters were used to cut through the heavy-duty metallic protection that guards the firearms in every deputy vehicle.

The sheriff’s office will launch an internal investigation as to whether the deputy will face disciplinary action.

“Our policy says that when a deputy is off duty, they are not to leave firearms inside a vehicle, whether it is locked or unlocked without prior approval,” said Smith. “In this incident the vehicle was locked and even within the vehicle the two firearms were in a locking mechanism.”

He added that it’s unknown whether the deputy had permission to leave his weapons inside the vehicle, which is what the investigation will reveal.

Munoz is charged with two counts of theft of a firearm.

Surveillance video shows two other people were involved in the theft, and deputies have identified those other two suspects but no arrests have been made. 

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